Finally sensing what direction the wind is blowing in, Top Rank boss Bob Arum has officially flip-flopped on the subject of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. meeting in a potential superfight.
In the weeks following Pacquiao’s less-than-stellar victory over Juan Manuel Marquez in the pair’s third official showdown, Arum went on a one-man crusade peddling the benefits of a fourth match-up. Despite the fact that absolutely nobody -- including people in the Filipino champion’s own camp -- wanted a fourth bout between Pacquiao and Marquez, Arum seemed adamant.
It was obvious to everyone, really, that his longtime hatred of Mayweather was clouding his judgment – making him a legitimate obstacle in the path of the only boxing match anyone wants to see in May of 2012. Disgruntled Pacquiao conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, said this much in a series of interviews, we reported on Opposing Views.
Now, however, it appears as though Arum is finally changing his tune. Realizing that nobody is buying his phony tales of the public demanding a fourth Pacquiao versus Marquez battle over a Pacquiao versus Mayweather dream fight, he told media this past weekend that he was “optimistic” that the latter match would get made.
Then again, when pressed for a committal, Arum refused to offer it.
"I'm not confident about anything. I just think that the public wants that fight," said Arum, as recounted by The Ring. "Certainly, we at Top Rank want that fight. Manny wants that fight, and I believe that Floyd wants that fight. So, why wouldn't I be optimistic?"
By now, everyone knows that the single biggest impediment when it comes to a Pacquiao versus Mayweather showdown is Arum. As the middleman in all past negotiations, Arum wielded the power to both make demands for, and then pass along the other side’s demands to, his client, Pacquiao. The fact that Pacquiao didn’t seem to know the things that Arum was telling the media, coupled with Freddie Roach being completely out of the loop as it pertains to Mayweather’s demands, tells you everything you need to know.
On the bright side, Arum’s latest flip-flop indicates that he realizes the fans will hold his feet to the fire on this one. No more lying yesterday and telling the truth today for the Top Rank boss, not when boxing afficianados from all over are paying attention.
Pacquiao versus Mayweather will happen, no matter what. There is too much momentum for the match now. It will happen. Regardless of whether it happens with Arum or despite of him, it will, undoubtedly, happen.